Addressing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions can lead to public health benefits, from which California and China provide good examples for the world to learn, according to a report.
California has demonstrated that public health benefits can serve as measurable goals within climate and air quality policies. At the same time, China has excelled at developing highly sophisticated air quality monitoring tools and a comprehensive climate policy framework, said a report published Thursday by the California-China Climate Institute (CCCI).
CCCI is a think tank led by former California Governor Jerry Brown and aims to spur further climate action through joint research, training and dialogue in California and China.
The report said that lessons and experiences from both countries have provided insights for other regions on best practices that could be adopted.
California and China have ambitious air quality and climate targets and have been implementing various policies to achieve their goals, showcasing how climate goals can deliver health benefits for citizens, according to the report.
California has integrated public health into its air and climate policies, primarily by incorporating public health indicators in policies, establishing public health monitoring networks and measuring implementation action.
Meanwhile, China is now a pioneer in simultaneously mitigating air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. It said China has established a large-scale air quality monitoring program and a comprehensive policy framework for climate change mitigation.
For example, Los Angeles successfully combines scientific research with policymaking and integrates public health indicators in its air and climate policies.
Similarly, Beijing and Shenzhen are actively devising public health indicators and further controlling air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions by implementing “coordinated control” policies and carbon markets, the report said.
For the best practices implemented in California and China, the report highlighted the case of Los Angeles for “effective regional and cross-agency coordination” and the inclusion of “explicit public health motivations” as part of air and climate policy actions.
The examples of Beijing and Shenzhen provide lessons for coordinated regional action, the “coordinated control” of air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions, extensive air monitoring systems and the role of carbon markets in decoupling economic development from carbon emissions, it said.